Hands on with Spotify’s web app beta and how to activate it

spotify web app

spotify beta iconSpotify announced this week that it will be rolling out the beta of its web app to some users for testing. This is a great move for the music streaming service as it makes it completely platform agnostic. The Spotify web app will run in any Flash supported browser so you can access most of Spotify’s features from the web. You can see charts for what’s new, listen to personalized radio stations, as well as your personal playlists.

Those hoping that the Spotify web app will work on a tablet or phone’s browser will be disappointed. Navigating to the Spotify web app on a tablet will open up the App Store or Google Play where you can download the Spotify app, which requires a paid subscription if you want to listen to more than radio.

Let’s see how the Spotify web app works and how to get it yourself.

If you’re not one of the chosen Spotify users to receive access to the web app beta, have no worry as it is super simple to get it. Unfortunately to do so, you’ll need a Facebook account to link to the Spotify service. Simply navigate to this link while logged into Facebook and you’ll immediately gain access to the web app beta.

spotify web app

The web app’s layout is a pleasure to use. There is a slim column on the left where you can search, browse new releases, listen to radio, and access your Spotify playlists. In the middle, you’ll have all of the album and artist information. On the very right rests the media controls with a huge ad about Spoitfy’s iPhone app. Hovering over the album art will bring up media controls like shuffle, repeat, volume, and a seek bar.

spotify artist overview

Clicking on the album art will bring up the discography of the currently playing artist. You can continue to browse and use the rest of the app while music plays in the background. The Spotify web app tab has a time counter for the currently playing track, which is a nice feature.

spotify track timer tab

Search works exactly like it does in Spotify’s native Windows and Mac apps. Results will show Artists, Albums, Tracks, and Playlists relevant to your search term.

spotify search

Clicking on an artist will bring you to his or her overview page, which includes charts for top tracks and his or her discography. There are tabs at the top to access related artists and biography.

related artists and bio

While navigating different tracks, hovering over a track will bring up a button with three dots. Click it and you’ll have options to favorite, add it to a playlist, create a radio station from it, or get the Spotify URL to share with your friends.

spotify menu button

So what’s missing from the Spotify web app? Social features. While the dedicated desktop apps have a ticker of what your Spotify friends are listening to, the Spotify web app has none of this. As of this beta, the Spotify web app is really a solitary listening experience. I also found that the web app doesn’t handle gapless playback so there’s a stutter between songs.

Still, the web app is very full featured and stable for a beta. Hopefully Spotify can add some social features to its web app before it comes out of beta. What do you think of the Spotify web app beta? Let us know in the comments.

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